Can You Get Pregnant Taking Birth Control Pills

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Pregnancy While On Birth Control (Obstetrics – High Risk)
  • …I can’t afford it.

    Birth control can be expensive, especially with no insurance. But raising a baby costs even more.

    If youre on Medicaid or earn less than $21,660 a year, the shot might be free for you. If you have private insurance, the shot is probably covered and might cost you no more than your copay.

    If those arent options for you, check out clinics in your area that may give you a discount or payment plan if you cant afford the full price of the shot.

    Another solution might be to ask your partner to help pay for the expense.

  • First, figure out if theres other stuff going on in your life that could be causing you to lose your sex drive. Like, are you stressed? Or having relationship issues? You might want to try exercising more, therapy, or changing things up in the bedroom.

    How Is The Pill Taken

    Most combination pills come in either a 21-day pack or a 28-day pack. One hormone pill is taken each day at about the same time for 21 days. Depending on your pack, you will either stop taking birth control pills for 7 days or you will take a pill that contains no hormones for 7 days . A woman has her period when she stops taking the pills that contain hormones. Some women prefer the 28-day pack because it helps them stay in the habit of taking a pill every day.

    There is also a type of combination pill that decreases the frequency of a woman’s period by supplying a hormone pill for 12 weeks and then inactive pills for 7 days. This decreases the number of periods to one every 3 months instead of one every month.

    Another kind of pill that may change the number of monthly periods is the low-dose progesterone pill, sometimes called the mini-pill. This type of birth control pill differs from the other pills in that it only contains one type of hormone progesterone rather than a combination of estrogen and progesterone. It works by changing the cervical mucus and the lining of the uterus, and sometimes by affecting ovulation as well. The mini-pill may be slightly less effective at preventing pregnancy than combination pills.

    The mini-pill is taken every day without a break. A girl who is taking it might have no period at all or she may have irregular periods. For the minipill to work, it must be taken at the same time every day, without missing any doses.

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    Missed Pills: How To Handle It

    Directions on what to do if you miss a pill can vary between different brands of birth control pills. It is always best to review the specific instructions in your Patient Information Handout and speak to your health care provider about your individual case.

    Important Note: If you take Natazia and you have missed pills, follow the patient instructions for missed pills found in the Natazia package insert or contact your healthcare provider.

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    Does The Pill Prevent Sexually Transmitted Diseases

    No, the pill wont protect you against sexually transmitted diseases or infections . STDs, such as genital herpes, chlamydia and human immunodeficiency virus , are transmitted through direct sexual contact and the exchange of bodily fluids like semen. If youre sexually active, the best way to prevent an STD is by using condoms in addition to the pill. Condoms, when used alone, are about 85% effective at preventing pregnancy. However if the pill and condoms are used together, both infection and pregnancy prevention is optimized. If you arent in a monogamous relationship with one partner, your healthcare provider will suggest using condoms along with the pill to prevent pregnancy and STDs.

    What To Do If You Miss A Dose

    How To Delay Your Period With Birth Control Pills Tips

    If you are late taking a birth control pill, don’t panic. It’s only human to forget every now and then. There is no point in beating yourself up about it. Instead, try to identify why you missed the dose.

    • Was it caused by a change in your schedule?
    • Was there an event or incident that distracted you?
    • Did you rush off to work before realizing your mistake?

    If you are late taking a pill, here is what you should do:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. This may mean doubling the dose if you missed an entire day. Read the packet insert for instructions on how and when to double up or call your healthcare provider’s office for assistance.
  • Use a backup method of birth control to help decrease your risk of pregnancy.
  • Make a note detailing what caused you to miss the dose. Keeping a daily treatment diary is particularly useful if you are just starting out on the pill.
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    Using The Pill To End A Pregnancy

    The birth control pill is not used to terminate an existing pregnancy. The morning-after pill comes in multiple formulations including several “birth control pill” formulations. These options do not cause miscarriage or abortion but rather prevent conception in the first place.

    If you are considering emergency contraception within a few days after unprotected intercourse, talk to a physician or pharmacist right away. They can help guide you through this process safely and effectively.

    Can You Get Pregnant While Taking Birth Control Pills

    From the moment they were introduced in the early 1960s, birth control pills have been one of the most popular forms of contraception, taken by millions of women in the United States and worldwide. When taken correctly, birth control pills can be up to 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. However, women who are taking birth control pills do, on rare occasions, get pregnant. When this happens, it is most often because of something the women did , not because the pill itself somehow failed to work.

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    Getting Pregnant While On Birth Control Pills

    The birth control pill is popular with Canadian women. According to the Canadian Health Measures Survey released by Statistics Canada in 2015, some 16 percent of non-pregnant Canadian women aged 15 to 49 had taken either the combined pill or the progestin-only pill in the month before they were polled. And it is quite effective, though definitely not perfect. Amanda Black, a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at The Univeristy of Ottawa, notes that both the combined and the progestin-only pill have an eight percent failure rate with typical use. The main reason for failure? People dont take it consistently. For those taking the combined pill, its especially important to take it every day during the first week of your pack, says Costescu. If you miss any, even a single pill in that first week, there may not be enough estrogen to keep you from ovulating, and then theres a risk of getting pregnant, he says, explaining that the lull in hormones during the previous week off already begins the process of making an egg, so missing a pill in the first seven days can trigger ovulation. Theres even less room for error with the progestin-only pill, where being more than three hours late with your dose is a risk for pregnancy.

    Table 2 Missed Pill For Progestin

    If I stop taking birth control pills, how long will it take before I ovulate again?

    Progestin-only pills are often recommended for women who are breastfeeding and women who cannot use the combined oral contraceptive pill for medical reasons. You might find the progestin-only pills a little trickier to use than combined hormonal birth control pills because the progestin-only pill MUST be taken at the same time each day .

    Examples of progestin-only pills include: Camila, Deblitane, Errin, Heather, Incassia, Jencycla, Jolivette, Lyza, Nor-QD, Nora-BE, Norlyroc, Norlyda, Ortho Micronor, Sharobel, Slynd, Tulana.

    You could become pregnant if you miss taking your progestin-only pill by more than 3 hours. If you miss taking one mini-pill by 3 hours, follow the guidelines below.

    What to do if you miss a pill from a progestin-only pack of birth control pills

    Missed pills Is a 48-hour back-up contraceptive method needed?

    Missed one or more pills by more than 3 hours.

    If you start your pills more than five days from the onset of your period.


    Take a pill as soon as remembered.

    Take the next pill at the usual time .

    If you had sex in the last 3 to 5 days, talk to your provider about emergency contraception .

    Yes, use a nonhormonal back-up method every time you have sex for the next 48 hours .

    If you are not sure what to do about the pills you have missed, keep taking your POPs as scheduled and use a backup method until you can talk to your doctor or clinic.

    Table 2 References: 5, 16, 17, 20

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    How Does The Pill Work

    The birth control pill contains hormones that affect your cervix, uterus, and ovaries in ways that prevent sperm from fertilizing an egg when you have sex. The main two types of pills are:

    • Combined, which includes both the hormones estrogen and progestin. They prevent your ovaries from releasing eggs. They also cause the mucous lining your cervix to thicken and your uterine lining to thin, making it difficult for sperm to come in contact with an egg if your ovaries do release one.
    • Progestin-only pills, which are also known as mini-pills, and do not contain estrogen. They also change your cervical mucus and uterine lining to block sperm. Sometimes they also prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs.

    Combined pills typically include 21 days of active, hormone-containing pills and seven days of inactive, placebo pills. Mini-pills are all active. Regardless, you must take each type at the same time every day for them to work.

    Not Taking The Pills At The Same Time Each Day

    In addition to taking birth control pills daily, a person should also take the pills at around the same time each day. This can maintain their hormone levels more consistently.

    A person should always take the minipill within the same 3-hour time window every day. Someone who misses their window should use a backup birth control method for the next 2 days or avoid having sex.

    Many people set a daily alarm reminding them to take their pill at the correct time each day.

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    You Experienced A Gastrointestinal Episode

    Going through vomiting or diarrhea can be incredibly distressing. You feel weak and uncomfortable, and you’re often experiencing pain in your stomach.

    But for women taking birth-control pills, such gastrointestinal issues can also cause their pills to be less effective, primarily because the pill’s absorption in the body can be interrupted, Pal said.

    Planned Parenthood recommends that pill-taking women who are going through stomach issues ask their doctors for advice, and use backup birth control until they are told that they don’t need to do so anymore.

    Such backup methods could include condoms, emergency contraception, female condoms, and more.

    Speak With A Healthcare Provider

    What Happens if You Get Pregnant While Taking Birth ...

    Women who want to get pregnant should consult with a healthcare provider regarding the effects of stopping birth control and how long getting pregnant may take. Couples struggling with infertility can speak with a fertility specialist for diagnoses and treatment options.

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    Do Not Start A New Package Right Away

    The day after finishing the previous pack of pills, a fresh pack of tablets must be started. However, it is possible that a person has not yet received their new package. If you skip a few days between packets, the pill will be less effective in preventing pregnancy.

    Anyone who misses two or more tablets in a run should use a backup form of contraception or postpone sexual activity until they have taken the pill for seven days in a row, according to the CDC.

    Reasons Why Birth Control Pills Fail

    In addition to missed or late doses, there are other things that can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills. Among them:

    • Progestin-only birth control pills, also known as the “mini-pill,” have far less forgiveness than “combined” pills that contain both progestin and estrogen.
    • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea can lessen the effects of the pill by eliminating too much of the active drug from the body.
    • Antibiotics can also interfere with the pill’s effects. Rifadin and, to a lesser extent, penicillin, amoxicillin, ampicillin, Bactrim , tetracycline, minocycline, Flagyl , and nitrofurantoin all have known interactions with oral contraceptive medications.

    If you missed a dose, especially if it was a progestin-only pill, got sick to your stomach, or were prescribed another medication that may interact with the pill, it’s important to consider back-up birth control. This may include using condoms, diaphragms, or sponges.

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    When To See A Doctor

    If you continue to have bleeding between your periods after the first few months, you should see your doctor. Also, if your periods seem more severe or unusual in any way, contact your doctor.

    If you experience any of these more severe side effects, contact your doctor right away:

    • You have leg pain or your leg feels hot to the touch.
    • You have swelling in your leg.
    • You have chest pain.
    • You have unexplained fever or chills.

    Dont Use St Johns Wort

    Is it possible to get pregnant while using birth control right after having a baby?

    St. Johns wort is a popular over-the-counter herbal supplement that can affect liver metabolism. This supplement can interfere with birth controls effectiveness. You could experience breakthrough bleeding and possibly an unplanned pregnancy if you take the two medicines together. Talk with your doctor about any additional measures you should take, including a backup protection method while youre taking St. Johns wort.

    Knowing what can make your birth control ineffective and how you can increase your chances for successfully avoiding pregnancy will help you make the best decisions for yourself.

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    Birth Control Pills Prior To Conception

    According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, taking birth control pills before getting pregnant does not cause early pregnancy loss. If you experienced a miscarriage and were taking oral contraceptives prior to conceiving, that was not the cause. This is a common worry but be assured these two events are not related.

    What Are Benefits Of Taking The Pill

    Some women take the pill for health purposes. The pill can:

    • Regulate or lighten menstruation.

    Your doctor will talk to you about your level of risk based on your medical history. Luckily, if an individual is not able to use an estrogen-containing pill, most can still safely take progestin only pills.

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    How Pregnancy Tests Work

    8 Effective Tips For Getting Pregnant On Birth Control ...

    A pregnancy test only reacts to the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin .

    However, if you’re pregnant, this hormone will not be present in your urine or blood until 13 to 16 days after the release of an egg , which is around the time you would normally get your period.

    Until this time has passed it will not be possible to see a positive result in a pregnancy test.

    Urine tests require a certain level of HCG to be present in order to indicate a positive pregnancy result. Blood tests are more sensitive because they can detect a smaller amount of HCG, which means that pregnancies can be picked up earlier, usually between 6 to 8 days after ovulation.

    You can have a blood test at your GP surgery, but it’s recommended you take a home urine test before booking an appointment.

    HCG is sometimes used in fertility treatment, which could cause a false-positive result . You should wait 14 days after having fertility treatment before taking a pregnancy test.

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    What Are Alternatives To The Pill

    If youre not confident you can remember to take a daily pill, talk to your healthcare provider about these other birth control options:

    • Etonogestrel implant .
    • Depo-Provera® progestin injection .

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    The birth control pill is a highly effective way to prevent pregnancy when you take it consistently every day. The pill can also lower your risk of certain problems, such as uterine and ovarian cancers, migraines, and acne. Some women experience medication side effects like nausea, though this is usually temporary. You may need to try several different brands of the pill before finding the one that works best for you. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns about the pill.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/21/2020.


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